Originally Posted by MortimerSickle
Roll over the engine with easy strokes until you feel it come up on the compression stroke, then give it a good jump. It takes some practice to get the feel of it. Make sure the carb is in good working order and properly jetted.
also, make sure that the choke is used when the engine is cold; sorry if that is obvious.
I have a 1980 xl500s and you definately have to watch those bikes because they will snap back and bite you hard. another thing, do you have a clymer manual for the bike? it could be possible that the auto decompression isn't adjusted properly; its worth checking out if all else fails.
your rear turn signals need some viagra